PHILADELPHIA (CBS) – Habits, both good and bad, can keep us going but to mount a change, as with a New Year’s Resolution, you may need a game plan.

Research psychologist Jeremy Dean began wondering about habits around three or four years ago when a blog post on the subject garnered huge reaction.

Now he’s out with a book titled “Making Habits, Breaking Habits” that aims to teach you how to win the fight.

For one thing, he says it’s a mistake to suppress a bad habit and better to replace it with something that precludes it, like chewing gum to avoid smoking. And don’t get too ambitious.

“The first thing you need to do, really, is create a really specific plan for yourself, because quite often people have New Year’s Resolutions and their plans, in general, are quite vague. ‘I want to be healthier in the New Year, or I want to eat better,’” explains Dean.

A successful action plan might involve, instead of saying, I’ll eat less junk food, saying I’ll eat an apple instead of chips when afternoon hunger hits.

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